Season recap: Avery Murray
Avery Murray committed to Maryland in July with very little fanfare.
The little-known linebacker from West Florence, S.C., chose the Terps over offers from Buffalo and Middle Tennessee State, then slipped back into relative anonymity -- until he strapped on the pads for his senior season.
“He just played with an unbelievable [level of] confidence,” West Florence coach Trey Woodbury said. “Once he finally committed and got it all out of the way, he just relaxed and his confidence went up. He played extremely well in the Shrine Bowl, which is the 45 best players in [South Carolina] against the 45 best in North Carolina. He started at linebacker and played extremely well. His confidence level against better competition was so much better than last year.”
Murray finished his senior season with 105 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. As West Florence’s short-yardage back, Murray rushed for 12 touchdowns and approximately 334 yards. The Knights went 7-5 with a first-round loss in the playoffs to South Pointe, the eventual South Carolina Class 5A-II state champions.
Based on Murray’s senior season and Shrine Bowl performance, it wouldn’t surprise Woodbury if plenty of schools were kicking themselves for not discovering the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder before Maryland got involved and landed his commitment.
“Avery’s kind of a laidback guy. He wasn’t big about going to camps, combines and all those other things,” Woodbury said. “He likes to just be Avery, I guess. He’s a good kid, a very smart kid, really worries about his grades, those types of things. So he didn’t do all the combines that a lot of the high-profile athletes do. He was probably a kid a lot of people overlooked. He’s a big kid, a strong kid and a fast kid and he’s going to be a very good player for Maryland.”
Murray is all set to enroll at Maryland later this month, joining the Terps in time for spring practice. Woodbury thinks that will give Murray -- who’s “big enough for inside linebacker and fast enough to play outside” -- an edge over his fellow classmates in terms of competing for playing time as a true freshman.
Regardless of whether or not Murray makes an early contribution in College Park, Woodbury is confident he’ll be a valuable asset to the team from the start.
“He’s just a good kid,” Woodbury said. “He’s an unbelievable athlete with a great work ethic. Not many kids with that type of character have the kind of athletic ability that he has. ... He’s just a big team player. Whatever it takes for the team [to succeed], he’s going to do.”